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Broncos ability to close with run game a good sign

Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06: Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The Broncos have Peyton Manning under center and a playoff berth in their pocket.

Now they intend to work on the thing that might make their playoff stay longer.

A mandate to run more effectively was clear in last night’s win 26-13 win over the Raiders, with Knowshon Moreno carrying 32 times for 119 yards.

“That is something that we feel like we have to be able to do and do better,” Manning said, via Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “Especially as potential weather approaches. That run game is something you want to have clicking on all cylinders. The offensive line hears that challenge, as do the backs and everybody. Everybody is involved.”

Having Moreno step up in the absence of the injured Willis McGahee is huge, but running the ball this time of year is often as much a matter of intent as individual skill, and under John Fox, the desire to run is clear.

That’s why their ability to close last night is a good omen, as they were able to burn the final 5:36 with an 11-play drive, with Moreno carrying seven times for 39 yards.

“You’re trying to run some time off the clock,” Fox said. “I think that will help us moving forward, developing a little bit of a mind-set.

“I think it was good for our offensive line, the blocking element, and our running backs to be able to do to close out a game.”

Being able to run with Moreno will also help them create viable play-action, which will limit opponents’ ability to tee off on Manning.

And moving into the postseason, that’s a dangerous proposition for others.